Nine years ago, Ken Greene was the children’s librarian in an archetypal small town in the Hudson Valley.
He still lives in the vicinity of Accord, N.Y., but in recent years Greene’s life has taken twists and turns that even this onetime acrobat could not have imagined. His day job these days is as a farmer of heirloom vegetable and flower seed but along the way, and almost by accident, he has become a patron of modern American botanical art. So far, he has commissioned more than 80 artists to create paintings to illustrate his seed packets. ....
The tradition of picturing plump tomatoes, glowing sunflowers or mouth-watering sweet corn has a long history in American farming and home gardening, but Greene has brought a unique contemporary twist to the genre.
His brief to his painters: reveal your assigned variety of flower, herb or vegetable in your own way.
“Botanical illustration was the last thing I was looking for,” said Greene, whose enterprise is called Hudson Valley Seed Library.These are 'real' seeds, for 'real' food plants.*
Heirloom seeds are distinguished from modern hybrids by replicating themselves faithfully. Thus, if you save the seeds of an heirloom tomato or melon (or a radish or lettuce left to seed) one year, you can grow it the next. No one owns the seed, so it can be passed freely among gardeners. Such open access to a crop is the antithesis of the agribusiness biotech profit model, and heirloom seed saving is tied in to the local food movement and all its attendant aspects: environmental sustainability, food security and social justice.---------------------------------------
*Have you all heard about the fake egg manufacturing biz that hip, hot young entrepreneurs are flogging -- as better for us and the environment than actual eggs --- and cheaper too? made from peas and sorghum, plus other un-named ingredients, at least not named in the hotcchachacha interview with them on some NPR financial program. I.e. more sugar = faux food, more empty calories and less flavor and pleasure. Let's all eat bugs! is another faux food thing being flogged more frequently every year. As we know Bhub, this faux food isn't for us wealthy hotchachacha types, but for the rest of this over-populated with excess people planet.